Essay on mind body and soul

For the sake of this argument, it does not matter at all. What this means is that the soul can be logically treated as of the same nature as a physical object in relation to its existence in time.

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Both are processes that underlie a host of changes and mutations, both start and end in time, and therefore both are perishable. The point of dissolution in time however is a moot question, which is discussed further below. This argument is also sustained by another thesis: if the ultimate reality is one, then the multitude of objects and entities that exist must have been created out of this fundamental unity.

Even if we claim that this multitude is just an illusion, we still have to account for the illusory existence of the world. Even if the world has just an illusory existence, the phenomenal reality is still a reality for our experience and the Individual Mind Exonoesis , and therefore, still needs some kind of creation or manifestation out of this fundamental unity.

One of the strongest argument against the immortality of a soul is, I think, the unity of the human being. Most people admit of the fact that the human being is a totality of mind and body. Now the question is, if the human being is a unity of body and soul, is this unity simple or compound? If it is a simple unity, the unity cannot be broken up into its parts. Therefore with the death of the individual human being, not only does the form of the body, but also the form of the soul dissolves. If however, the unity of body and soul is a compound unity, that means, body and soul are separate entities constituting a whole that is more than its parts, a theoretical separation of body and soul would be possible.


Still, it doesn't make too much sense. If we argue with Aristotle, that the soul is the form of the body, then we inevitably have to admit the supervenience of the soul on the body. A soul seems to be created for the only purpose of development. This development is supposed to be only possible by the soul's connection with a body or the physical world. This means that the soul is logically supervenient on the body for the sake of its own inner development.

Now if that's true, it does not make sense for the soul to exist without a body. Therefore if the soul is presumed to exist as the form of a body, this fact would make the essence of the soul dependent on the body, meaning that the soul cannot exist without a body. That what constitutes the essence of the soul is its inseparable unity with the body, its necessary supervenience on the existence of a physical entity, such as the body.

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It is even possible to think of an entity other than the body as the necessary pole of manifestation. It is conceivable that the soul is a persistent entity that takes on different material forms, through a process that is called metempsychosis or reincarnation. Still the soul would be perishable in the long run.

If we admit the thesis that the soul is individual how else can we explain the need for development or process , we cannot claim that the soul is one with a Divine Being in the sense that oneness means no differences, no manifestation. The soul has definitely a connection to the one Reality, but so does every physical object. This strict dualism between soul and body is illusory and ultimately merely of a phenomenal nature. We need to start to speak of aspects rather than different substances.

The human being, or any being for that matter, is defined by different aspects, physical, psychical, mental, etc. Each aspect is an individual manifestation of Hyponoesis Universal Mind.

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The specific combination of different aspects of a unity is what we call an entity, such as a physical object, a human being, an animal, a plant, etc. Such an entity exists in its particular structure and essence only as long as the specific combination of those aspects exists.

Once one or several of those aspects change considerably, the entity also changes its structure and essence, which means, it is no longer the entity it was before. This transformation could be as simple as a chemical process, a biological process of growth, or the death of a human being. Since the individuality of the soul is dependent on the individuality of the body and other aspects, a change in any of these aspects means also a change in the other aspects.

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There is a mutual interdependence of aspects here. My main point is, that the idea of a soul is the invention of the human being for the sake of religious and spiritual purposes. The soul is a mental construct that is based on religious issues and not metaphysical or philosophical issues. From the point of view of metaphysics, the soul is a superfluous and even contradictory concept. Form the point of view of religion or spirituality, the concept of the soul makes sense. But we should always keep in mind that this concept is a mental construct that should not claim any ontological status.

The idea of a soul and of God is fundamental to the religious and spiritual culture of mankind. As long as we do not make any ontological claims regarding the reality or existence of those ideas, we can believe in anything we want. The problem arises however with the fact, that most religions do actually advocate a position that regards the soul as a reality per se which is immortal. To separate this unity means to undo the primary form of manifestation. A concept, as we have said, is a common element in different thought contents expressed by a general term.

So, corresponding to the property of being round is the concept of being round, or of roundedness.


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The corresponding to each property category whether mental or physical is a category of concepts and predicates. Thus, any question we ask about the relation of mental and physical properties can be recast as concepts or predicates, and vice versa. Descartes himself believed sometimes the mind could casually affect the body and sometimes body could affect the mind. This view is called interactionism. The mind can move the gland in different ways. However, one of the major objections in dualism is the problem of interaction. Or what is the relation between the mental and the physical properties?

When we think about the concept of roundness we see a round ball out there.

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So how does thinking of a concept correspond to the reality out there? It shows that nonmaterial things have more energy than material things that it can cause motion. Thirdly, if they are at same energy level, how do they interact? Fourthly, the interaction must be under the time frame work. But mental or nonmaterial thing also come under the Time lag. The second answer to the problem of mind and body relation is epiphenomenalism.

Thomas Henry Huxley was the one who first suggested this view. This philosophical view holds that there is only one-way casualty. Here the mind affects the body in the brain. This view also holds that behaviour is caused by muscles that contract upon receiving neural impulses, and neural impulses are generated by input from other neurons or from sense organs. It also suggests that mental events play no casual role in this process.

However no significant thinkers hold this view. Those who oppose epiphenomenalism hold that mental events can cause bodily actions. This is a significant view and well supported by neuroscience. They have proved this fact through different experiments and one of them is Libet Clock Experiment. Parallelism is the third way of answering problem of mind-body interaction.

What they hold is that they have only a close connection or association of events.

This argument does not compact with our ordinary experiences because our daily experience is that what is going on in our mind affects our body and even beyond our material world. It is still a mystery how events and objects in the world have an impact on our mind by way of their effects on our body. This causes a problem. Occasionalism is the fourth way of understanding the body and mind relation. According to this proposal, each entity is supposed to act directly on the other.

It, however, asserts that cause and effect must be similar, could not conceive the possibility of any direct mutual interaction between substances as dissimilar as mind and body. According to them, the action of the mind is not, and cannot be the cause of the corresponding action of the body. Whenever any action in mind takes place, God directly produces a corresponding action in body in connection with action in mind. This argument does not have any substantial credentials because it needed an external agent to explain the relationship between mind and body.

Dualism and its suggestion to solve the problem of body-mind relationship have not come to an amicable solution. One of the major objections to dualism is that it considers mind as a separate entity. Along with it the presence of many minds makes the problem even more difficult. His main argument was that there cannot be two or more substances with the same attribute and secondly there necessarily is a substance with infinite attributes.

In this line of thought many philosophers have grave doubts that the notion of the mind as a thing or an entity. In this case neither interactionism, epiphenomenalism, parallelism nor occasionalism could give any direction to understand the point where interaction takes place. These difficulties in dualism, calls us to look into physicalism for a solution.

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Physicalism opposes dualism. Democritus, a Greek philosopher, held that nothing exists but material. Physicalism is formally a doctrine concerning the nature of the world that give to matter a primary position and accord to mind a secondary, dependent reality or even none at all.

Physicalism holds the theory that everything that exists is material. Such an idea evolved in order to counteract the dualistic properties. In the modern world the physicalism has claimed triumphalism over dualism because of the success of the science, which makes materialism true.